In an unusual sworn deposition to be presented to the Virginia Crime Commission today in Norfolk, a 25-year-old Alexandria woman says she was recruited by the Alexandria police to befriend other young people in singles bars and entice them into selling drugs.
In the 20-page deposition and interviews with reporters, Janice Mary Picha said she was recruited in January by her roommate, an undercover Alexandria vice squad policewoman, to take part in a narcotics investigation that ended last week.
The two young women bought marijuana, cocaine, PCP and other drugs from 47 men and three women in about 100 separate transactions, according to Picha. An Alexandria grand jury indicated 26 of these people last week and more charges are expected, according to John Kloch, Alexandria's acting Commonwealth Attorney.
Picha said that she and the policewoman use drugs themselves and made sexual advances to some of the young men they met to encourage the drug transactions. The drugs they bought were kept in unsealed evelopes in an unlocked drawer of a bedroom night table.
Picha also said in the deposition, "Sometimes she (the policewoman) would forget and carry it (drugs) on her person for awhile and then she'd say, 'Oh my God, I have this on me.'"
The two women used cash supplied by the Alexandria police in $100 bills to buy the drugs and to hold a party at their Alexandria town house "to make people feel they could trust us," Picha said in the deposition. "They could see where we lived, see where we were coming from, that we were their friends."
However, Picha said yesterday that she later felt "guilty" about what she was doing and sought out Alexandria attorney William B. Moffit, who took the sworn deposition from her earlier this week.
Moffit, a criminal lawyer who frequently defends narcotics suspects, intends to present Picha's deposition narcotics laws. Moffit said Picha's experiences demonstrate sloopy police works and illegal entrapment in the apprehension of drug offenders.
Prosecutor Kloch and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney David O'Brien met with police officials yesterday to discuss Picha's deposition. "I don't know what, if anything, it will do" to the 126 narcoticcases, Kloch said.
The policeman involved could not be reached for comment yesterday. She and Picha were childhood friends in Minnesota before coming to Washington in 1970, Picha said, and have been roommates on and off for the past eight years.
According to Picha's deposition, the two women "would go to different bars, and meet people, make friends, try to get in a situation where we'd ask them if they got high, whereupon they would often turns us on, go out to their cars and smoke . . . She (the policewoman) would get the conversation around to buying drugs from them, and if they couldn't do it, which was usually the case, she took their phone number and she would contact them ask them about drugs."
Alexandria police officers originally gave the policeman a list of bars in Alexandria to frequent, but the women soon found they had better success at such singles hangouts as The Lobster Shed, The Grand Cafe, and Masons - all located in a three block area on Alexandria's King Street - Picha said.
"The male-female relationship can always be used as an inducement if you use it correctly, and we played on that . . . often people would be attracted to me initially and I would play on that, and then (the policewoman) would pick up that," Picha said in her deposition.
Picha said yesterday that the process of buying drugs was "selective." If the prospective seller was "nice . . . and attractive," the women would not pursue any transactions. "I know she was going out with a few people that were totally repulsive to her, and . . . going out on dates with them," Picha said in the statement.
Picha said the two women controlled the sexual contact so that "compromising" situations beyond kissing did not arise.
In June, when the women decided to give a party, Picha said, "We asked if the department would pay for the things that we needed for the party. They didn't seem to like the idea and didn't think it would be a good idea to use department money in that way. They did not give us an okay."
Nevertheless, the women held the party and lumped the expenses in with expenses for drinks and bar charges, which were paid for by the police, Picha stated.
At the party, attended by about 20 people , marijuana was bought and smoked "openly . . . there was one person who went out to their car and snorted cocaine," according to Picha.
Some of the people who attended the party were apparently later arrested and indicted, although Picha said she did not know all the names of those attending the party, or those indicted.
On one occasion, Picha said yesterday the two women were driving down an Alexandria street, and flirted with two men in the next car. A drug transaction, in which an ounce of marijuana was sold for $35, took place shortly afterward in a parking lot.
On another occasion the pair walked around an Alexandria neighborhood until two men, whom police had told them to "get" came out on their porch and said, "Hey, you wanna get high?" Drugs were later purchased for them, Picha said in an interview.
"It became a way of life. Once we met someone in a line at the supermaerket,"later bought drugs from him, she said.
In her deposition, Picha said her policewoman friend "said she had never been paid for having so much fun."
Picha also said she was told by the policewoman about an apartment at 4600 Duke St. used by undercover police officers as a meeting place.
"The policewoman told me on two different occasions she'd walked into the undercover apartment . . . where she was supposed to meet a control officer and there was what seemed to be aftermath of a party. There were liquor bottles, used prophylactics around the room, there was no one there. She told her sergeant, and her sergeant was disgusted, because it appeared that some of the vice officers had been using the apartment for their own personal use. (The sergeant said, I'm going to have to have a talk with the officers," Picha stated in her deposition.
In her sworn statement, Picha also said that her policewoman roommate had told her of leaving a Fairfax apartment one night after "getting high" with four men who were subsequently charged.
The policewoman "said she was having a great deal of difficulty in driving . . . because she was so stoned. In fact, she went to the undercover apartment (4600 Duke St.) after that and her sergeant was there and she was laughing and she told him that she was stoned."
Although Picha said police told her to leave the scene during the drug "buys," she was present during 37 of the 100 transactions, she said.
"Eventually," Picha said in an interview yesterday, "I became her backup support." Picha said that the policewoman had been "ripped off" during two transactions and that on one occasion, a gun had been pulled on her.
Deputy Alexandria Police Chief Clyde Scott declined to comment yesterday on the specifics of the deposition.
Alexandria police earlier this year recruited a civilian to pay for sexual services at several local massage parlors. Although one District Court conviction has been obtained as the result of the civilian's testimony, the case against another woman was thrown out by a judge who said he could not determine "who was the bigger whore" in the case.